Archive for the Category: Japanese

Word of the day – お任せ (omakase)

I came across today’s word on Amazon’s Affiliates site today. They use it as the name of a widget which displays products based on Amazon’s understanding of your site, the visitors to your site and the page you place it on. They say it means “leave it up to us”. お任せ (omakase) is a Japanese […]

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Word of the day – pachi pachi

Today’s word, パチパチ (pachi pachi) is an onomatopoeic Japanese word meaning: 1. pleasant clapping sound; 2. sound of something hot bursting open (i.e. popcorn); 3. incessant blinking It came up while I was chatting with some Japanese friends earlier today and is one of the many onomatopoeic words in Japanese. Here are some more examples: […]

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Finger names

When chatting with some Japanese friends today, the subject of finger names came up for some reason – specifically what the different fingers are called in Japanese and English. It took quite a while to establish which finger corresponded to which name – to make this clear, I found a picture of a hand, added […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Latin, Welsh 48 Comments


As I have no classes this weekend, I decided to go to Aberystwyth today. The bus took about an hour and a half to get there and went through some nice scenery and some pretty villages and towns along the way. I particuarly liked Aberaeron, a small town by the sea with attractive Victorian houses […]

Also posted in Language, Quiz questions, Scottish Gaelic, Travel, Welsh 7 Comments


The other day I found a site called Nobukaze which contains some interesting information about Japanese history, samurai, pop culture, language and a variety of other weird and wonderful Japan-related topics. There’s also some information about the Indonesian and Javanese languages and writing systems, and a guide to “Java for the Absolutely Clueless“. The Indonesian […]

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Today I came across the term sushi-go-round for the first time. I’d been discussing Japanese restaurants with a Japanese friend and mentioned that I didn’t know what to call those sushi places where you sit a the counter and the dishes come round on a conveyor belt. He found the term sushi-go-round in a Japanese-English […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Language, Words and phrases 13 Comments

Word of the day – haiku

As I’m sure many of you know, haiku (俳句) are short Japanese poems made of of 17 syllables usually in 3 lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. The only Japanese haiku I can remember is: 古池や (furu ike ya) 蛙飛びこむ (kawazu tobikomu) 水の音 (mizu no oto) An old pond a frog jumps in splash! There are […]

Also posted in Language, Poetry, Scots 11 Comments

Mobile novels

Recently the first Mobile Phone Novel Awards were held in Japan. The winner was a woman from Osaka, whose novel concerns a love affair between a schoolgirl and a gigolo. You can see a Japanese version of the report here. The Japanese have apparently been reading novels and manga on their phones for a few […]

Also posted in Language, Writing 6 Comments

Japanese for kids

The son of one of my friends has decided that he wants to learn Japanese and his parents have asked me if I can recommend any suitable courses for him. I thought of the Talk Now! series, but they only teach you a limited number of words and phrases, and the lad, who’s 10 years […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 17 Comments


This morning I had a long chat on Skype with a Japanese lass from somewhere near Tokyo. We talked in a mixture of Japanese and English, and I was pleased to discover that I can still speak Japanese, inspite of many years of neglect. There are many words I’ve forgotten, and I tend to get […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 5 Comments